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Missing Students Notification Policy

Any member of the University community, including parents, who believes that a Penn student is missing should notify the University of Pennsylvania Police Department (UPPD) in the Division of Public Safety. To report a missing person, dial 5-1-1 from a campus telephone, use one of the blue light emergency telephones on campus and in the surrounding neighborhood, or dial (215) 573-3333 from an off-campus or cell phone.

In addition, the person should notify the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL). VPUL and the Division of Public Safety are responsible for coordinating efforts in response to a report of a missing student. Any other University office that receives a report of a missing student is responsible for promptly notifying UPPD and VPUL of such report.

When a Penn student is reported to be missing, the University will take steps to try to locate the student or to determine why the student has not been seen. If UPPD determines that a police investigation is warranted, the University will support the investigation by providing information relevant to the search for the student, including photos, schedules, etc.
All students are strongly encouraged to provide the University with a confidential contact whom the University will notify in the event that the student is determined to be missing. This contact information, which will be maintained in the University’s Management Information Services (UMIS) database and Advisor-in-Touch, will be accessible only to authorized campus officials and law enforcement authorities and will be used only in connection with responding to a report that the student is missing.

To register a contact person, a student should go to the Penn Portal home page, and under “Action items for all students” click on the link “Emergency Contact.” This will direct the student to the “Penn-in-Touch Emergency Contact” page (using Penn Key and password) where the student should select the tab for “Emergency or Missing Person Contact(s)” and provide the information requested.

If a student has been missing for more than twenty-four (24) hours, the Division of Public Safety or the University, through VPUL, will notify the student’s designated missing persons contact. UPPD will also notify the Philadelphia Police or other appropriate local police. If the missing student is under 18 years old and is not emancipated, the Division of Public Safety will notify the student’s custodial parent or guardian and/or any other designated contact within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing. In addition, UPPD will enter the missing student into the National Crime Information Center database. For students over 18 years of age who have not designated a missing person contact, UPPD may notify the law enforcement agency where the student’s primary residence is located.

With respect to any student determined to be missing, the Division of Public Safety and/or VPUL may notify others at the University as appropriate—including, but not limited to, RAs, Deans, the Office of Student Affairs/Fraternity Sorority Life (in the case of a student residing in a fraternity or sorority) and the Office of International Programs (in the case of an international student). In addition, VPUL may contact parents and others if the student is not located within a reasonable period.